Ian Roberts: Finding Out
With the odds stacked against him making a career
out of football, and despite an injury-hampered rise in first-grade rugby
league, Ian Roberts was widely acclaimed as the best front-rower in the
late eighties. There was acrimony and even bomb threats when he left his
humble working-class South Sydney surrounds to play with the "silvertail"
club Manly in 1989, a move that made him league's highest-paid player ever
at the time. Three years later he was broke and broken. By 1995, having
once again overcome insurmountable odds, and amidst further controversy,
he signed with Rupert Murdoch's Super League, while seeing out his
commitment to the ARL flagship club Manly. That year he was almost
crippled with a knee injury, but played through to the grand final. At the
same time he became arguably the world's first high-profile sportsman to
voluntarily confirm his much-rumored homosexuality, subjecting himself
once again to the litany of abuse that has seemed to follow his every
move. This time, however, there was the acclaim and certainty that he had
done great good and that right was on his side. And with that knowledge
and the support of scores of admirers and mentors came the peace and
happiness that had eluded Ian for so long. This is his story, told in his
own words, but also told by his friends, family and team-mates, the story
of an ordinary man with an extraordinary talent and the courage to live
his life the way he wants to.
is an exciting and sensual eulogy, a tribute through photography to the
Australian heroic ideal.
This thought-provoking collection of photographic portraits comprises a
vast and varied array of some of Australia's top actors, models, sports
stars and Olympians, (including a champion Ironman, Princess Diana's
personal trainer, a Mister Australia body building champion, actors from
international theatre and film, television soap stars, top players in the
Australian Rugby League football code, an Olympic boxer, diver and
wrestler, and an Australian Man Of The Year!)
Located within the ancient and moody coastal topography of Sydney,
resplendent in its’ own drama, and liberally utilizing religious and
classic art references,
Bondi Classic takes us on an epic of unabashed male
physicality. Maintaining a reverential distance from its’ subjects, the
work revels in the paradoxes of masculinity; the subjects are strong yet
sensual, courageous while provocative, violent whilst divinely innocent.
Bondi Classic is over
300 photographs on 204 pages of art stock paper, hard bound
A more literal interpretation of the Australian male
than Bondi Classic, the
collection Bondi Urban
seeks to capture something of that spirit of freedom. Despite its’ edgy
and gritty sensuality and a more contemporary look to the models, the way
they are directed and captured, the trademark use of lighting to elevate
simple compositions into captivating works of art, and the extensive use
of gorgeous subdued colour, often infuses the work with the painterly
romanticism we got to know in Bondi
Classic. The result is another wonderful series of shared
intimate moments of male beauty and sensuality.
Bondi Urban is over 300
photographs on 224 quality, large format art pages, hard-bound.
the third book of the series, focuses on the Australian male in the blue
collar work environment.
In exquisitely lit raw and dirty factory environments, with moody natural
light often filtered through dust-laden industrial windows Freeman takes
us on a gorgeously colourful photo journey that assumes that almost
religious and painterly quality which so often infuses his work. This time
the factory is his cathedral and the reverence is for the working man
depicted therein. There is no altar or high mass garments but here the
simple attire and classical poise and agonized and brutal elegance of the
everyday working man is what is being raised on high as holy by way of
Freeman’s sensitive eulogy through his photo artistry.
Once again apparent is the photographer’s remarkable relationship with his
models, and that mutual artist/subject trust within the shoot environment,
crucial to Freeman’s ability to captivate us with shared intimate moments
of men who would not usually be found in front of a camera.
Bondi Work is more than
300 photographs on 216 quality hard-bound art stock pages. (250x340x20mm)
is the final book in Paul Freeman’s Bondi series.
With its gritty contemporary urban edge and extraordinary models and set
in a gritty ocean-side world inhabited by water loving itinerants and
bohemian transients, this collection is another look at male sensuality
and physicality, again emphasizing Freeman's reverence for, and revelry in
the paradoxes of masculinity; toughness and sensuality, courage and
sensitivity, provocation and innocence.
It is an exquisite collection of shared intimate moments of diverse male
Bondi Road is more than
300 photographic works on 200 quality hard-bound art pages,
This first part of a new series by Paul Freeman is
set far away from Bondi’s shores under a mighty Australian sky on a vast
property filled with drovers, farm-hands shearers and cowboys, working and
This extraordinary body of work, set in a variously tough and gorgeously
colored landscape, often evokes Australia’s pioneering past with sepia
toning, ageing of images and a carefully controlled color palette of muted
burnt yellows and reds reminiscent both of nineteenth century Australian
impressionism and of early hand-painted photos. The collection has a ‘boys
own adventure’ feel which those annual compendiums of ripping yarns might
have had in the 1920’s and ‘30s. The qualities displayed by the men on
these pages were as current a hundred years ago as they are now. Even the
more obviously contemporary images are nostalgic, shot as they are in and
around weathered timber farm buildings and parched fields littered with
rusted old vehicles. Everything is worn but staunch and durable
complimenting and contrasting the wonderfully varied and astounding array
of manhood portrayed.
Outback Currawong Creek
If you are looking for a collection of stunningly
beautiful photographs of men that move you and take you on a story-telling
journey , and not just a bunch of pics of ‘hot’ guys in samey poses, what
better way to celebrate photographer Paul Freeman’s self- publishing
business turning five, than with a sixth book of his work - Outback
With 240 art photographs of male nudes and portraits on 200 luxuriously
large format art stock pages, this beautifully bound and dust-jacketed
book continues Freeman’s photographic story of hardworking and intimate
male camaraderie in the Australian rural heartland.
Another reward for the loyal fan base he has built around the world, while
competing to present his distinctive gorgeous and artistic brand of
portraiture against the conglomerates and giants of publishing.
For those who thought Freeman’s popular Bondi series would be a hard act
to follow, with its focus on fabulous Sydney men in a stunning coastal
cultural context. Last year Outback carried and captured our imaginations
during a rollicking pictorial ‘boys own’ adventure in the parched farming
landscape of Australia.
Critics were personally affected and moved by his art. “It’s brilliant!
I’m quite moved by the images” said Andrew Creagh, editor of DNA Magazine
“I was born in the wheat belt of Western Australia so a lot of those
shearing sheds and shearers huts are familiar to me; the red dust, the
sheep dog, the old utes. … The shoots are really well integrated– some
very clever and some hot guys. But mostly, it’s so evocative. It’s great
work!..[Paul’s] taken it to another level and I don’t think anyone’s done
anything like it!” For Alasdair Forster, curator of the world-renowned
Australian Centre for Photography, “The images in the ‘Outback’ series
reveal [Paul’s] understanding that the erotic lives within the individual
not the stereotype; that strength lies in embracing one’s vulnerability as
much as exercising one’s power; and that the child abides within the man.
Playful, candid and sexy, these men epitomise a spirit of outback
Australia that fuses larrikin fantasy with moments of introspection that
create a subtle counterpoint with the rugged beauty of the land.”
Scenes of mates cavorting naked in outback creeks lends a ‘Bear Pond’
flavour to an Outback Currawong Creek filled with drovers, farm-hands and
cowboys, working and at play, a wonderful array of uniquely beautiful men
in a breathtakingly beautiful country, transformed again by Freeman into a
timeless romantic world of photographic art.
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